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Who won the Ward 8 straw poll?

Kendra Nichols

The Ward 8 Democrats held the first straw poll for the mayor's race in this election season on Saturday. Although Jacque Patterson, the group's president, called it a test of the city's new same-day registration law, it appeared to be a test of how Mayor Adrian M. Fenty can mobilize his support.

The Green Machine out-organized Fenty's opponents in a ward that polls show will swing for D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray, his chief challenger in the September primary. Gray won the straw poll among previously registered voters 59 to 49. But despite getting booed during the forum for several mayoral hopefuls, Fenty toppled Gray 69 to 61 when same-day voters were put in the mix.

Fenty was helped by Peaceoholics founder and friend Ron Moten who brought several youths to the event at Matthews Memorial Baptist Church.

The audience that crowded into a community room of the church was filled with people who appeared to already have their minds made up. They were clad in T-shirts for Fenty, Gray and Leo Alexander, a former television reporter also running for mayor.

Peaceoholics has received millions of dollars for its efforts to help youths since Fenty took office in 2007. Fenty praised the work of Peaceoholics and Moten.

Last week, Moten unveiled a Web site that attacks Gray's record.

-- Nikita Stewart

By Kendra Nichols  |  May 17, 2010; 9:15 AM ET
Categories:  2010 District Election , Nikita Stewart  
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Ron Moten is fighting nail and tooth for what he feels is his entitlement to District tax dollars from Adrian Fenty. He is bitter that Gray and the rest of the Council, cut away wasteful earmarks during a budgetary recession. He, like Fenty, prefer to keep the spigot open for frat brothers and cronies.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | May 17, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

The article show be titled:


At what point is the WP gonna say time out to this style of governance.

The late great Katherine Graham must be wondering what the hell is going on with the Post.

Posted by: gordonbundy | May 17, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Cheating to win...way to go DC find the youth and PAY them to vote...the funniest thing would have been for those youth who were paid to go in and vote for Gray!

Gray will still win, our city deserves a REAL man to lead us!

Posted by: | May 17, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse


You should be ashamed of your reporting! Your bias towards Gray is so obvious. Fenty won. Plain and simple. As a black woman that lives in the city, I understand and hear people's discontent. But that doesn't change the fact that Fenty won the Ward 8 Straw poll. Does it? How could you possibly try and parse it to say that Gray won among registered voters? There weren't two polls, right? There was one and Fenty won 69-61. You should be ashamed as should your editors for allowing this misinformation to be published.

I think your readers shld read this article for an accurate account of what happened:

I hope you do a better job on your next reporting assignment.

Posted by: erkab202 | May 17, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

A few observations on the Ward 8 event:

1. Gray arrived on stage 40 minutes after the event started and missed the first two questions completely and got to the tail end of the third question.

2. Fenty semed to respond better as the booing increased. Articulated his contributions to Ward 8 during his 3 1/2 year administration.

3. Leo Alexander seemed the most articulate and made the most forceful presentations.

4. Same day registration applies to an election For a Ward organization, the rules for a straw vote/endorsement are best covered in the rules for voting created by that Ward organization. Ward 8 Democrats needed to spend a little more time on establishing the rules of the day if they didn't want same day registration and voting.

5. Seven candidates for Mayor spoke.

6. Vincent Orange, candidated for Chair was present. Didn't see his opponent.

Posted by: NewEra | May 17, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

A little biased Nikita? Are you trying to discredit Fenty for getting voters to the poll? Isn't that what campaigns do?

Your boy Gray lost. Period. The story is how weak his performance was.

And this is Ward 8. Gray's backward. Marion Barry's Kingdom.

Nikita, a beating is a beating. And Fenty just handed Gray his hat.

Posted by: politicalrealist | May 17, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who thinks that Fenty can carry Ward 8 in the primary is on some serious medical marijuana (before it is officially legal).

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | May 18, 2010 6:37 AM | Report abuse

I had a debate with a Fenty campaigner who came to me spouting about all of the "accomplishments" of the Fenty Administration. Each and EVERY one they mentioned I traced back to the Anthony Williams administration, either the funding or initial plan approved by Williams. There wasn't a single original major development that wasn't inspired by and approved during the Williams Administration. So, to this day, the best Mayor that the District has ever had, in terms of economic development, has been Anthony Williams. The city has prospered, IN SPITE OF, Adrian Fenty. However, his poor leadership is starting to wear on the city.

The city is as divided as it has ever been among race and class.

Fenty has made an enemy out of every District government employee, though he is necessarily dependent upon them to carry out the mission of the government.

When you bring up the money he stole from that old man's estate, or his lackadaisical attitude towards his shifting 85 million dollars in local tax funds from the D.C. Treasury to the Housing Authority to be distributed, without legislative oversight, to his friends and cronies, they recess to this blank look and attempt to change the subject.

When you ask why, as candidate Fenty, he promised vast transparency only to, as Mayor Fenty, shroud all that he does in secrecy, you are again met with silence.

They claim that Gray is more of the same old government. When you correct them in saying that Gray first ran for political office in 2007, at a time when Fenty was already on the D.C. Council, they get confused. Stuck in the delusion of the lies they have been asked to peddle.

I am voting for Gray because I believe that he cares about the interest of ALL District residents. Not just a boutique few who feel that their needs outweigh the majority.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | May 18, 2010 7:27 AM | Report abuse

It amazes me at the anger level of people because Fenty won the straw poll. People do not believe in the power of the youth and the time has come for our youth to be informed and make informed decisions. Every resident in this great city of ours should be proud that our children are taking a stand! In fact, Vince Gray proved his arrogance and disregard for the People of Ward 8 when he showed up 40 minutes late. How dare he ask for my, or any other resident of ward 8, vote when he did not show up on time.

Also, can anyone prove that people were paid to come to the straw pole? I make decisions based upon fact, and people should stop making allegations, if they do not have factual evidence!

Posted by: eruffin1975 | May 18, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Let's be clear. Who wins a straw poll is just as important as who wins playing a tambourine in the rain.

I believe the odds of Fenty winning in Wards 7/8 are slim. He fares a better chance across the river. I do not know how beneficial Moten's ground game will be to Fenty, but politically, he does not seem helpful at all.

Posted by: dcis1 | May 18, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

@ Newera...Mr. Brown was there.

Ok so Thugnificant brought "the youth" and we are suppose to believe they were there because they wanted to be informed?


I'm wondering how many of those who were there to be informed have been hurt directly by Fenty's cuts?

Posted by: thelildiva4u | May 18, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

how can you claim that fenty won..when the legel unpaid ballots were counted Vince Gray WON!

Posted by: | May 18, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Ron Moten, bitter because the tax payer giveaway was taken away from him by the Council during a recession, runs out to gather as many "unlikely voters" as he can in an attempt to sabotage an election. It is one thing to get kids to a straw poll event, quite another to get them to the polls.

Remember, Barrack Obama is not on the ballot this season.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | May 19, 2010 7:39 AM | Report abuse

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